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Marzo 2016
The Speak Up blog answers any questions you may have either about the English language or our articles. Write to us (preferably in English) at: http://blog.speakuponline.it. The most interesting questions will be published on this page. A word of warning, though: our blog is not a translation or homework service!

Memories
I am currently preparing for the Cambridge English: Advanced exam and today I came across this exercise: “Complete the sentence with the noun form of the word in brackets.” “My … is getting worse as I get older.”
(remember)
So, my teacher, who’s a native English speaker, told me that in this case you cannot write the word “remembrance,” which is the noun form of the word in brackets. She said “memory” would be better.
Personally, I think that “remembrance” is the most appropriate option for this exercise assignment, even if it has a slightly different meaning from “memory.” What should I write to fill in the gap? “Memory” or “remembrance?”
Pietro


Your observation is valid: memory is not the noun of remember. At the same, time, however, the word remembrance is archaic and so the correct answer to the question is definitely memory. It’s the question in the exercise that is confusing.

Hot dogs
I’m a curious person and I was wondering what’s the origin of the expression “Hot Dog” referred to a sandwich?
Angelo


Nobody really knows, but one theory is that the sausages (which were brought to the United States by German immigrants) were similar in shape to a breed of dog: the Dachshund (“bassotto”). The sausages were therefore called “Dachshund sausages” and an enterprising English immigrant, Harry Stevens, started adding bread and selling “Dachshund sandwiches” at baseball games. They were a great success but, seeing as people didn’t know how to spell the word “Dachshund,” a simpler name was chosen: hot dog. Funnily enough, “sausage dog” is also a nickname for a Dachshund!

A lot of...
In the November issue, on page 50, you wrote: “They [Poe’s Stories] have inspired many films.” And yet I’ve been told that when the sentence isn’t negative, it’s be better to use “a lot of” instead of “many.” Am I wrong?
Claudio


As far as we know, both forms are acceptable. Did someone tell you otherwise? If so, who? Please tell us!


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